Gayle King is opening up about how her longtime friend Oprah Winfrey helped through her divorce from ex-husband William Bumpus.
The CBS Mornings host, 67, revealed that Winfrey was one of the first people she told about Bumpus’s infidelity on iHeartPodcast’s Now What? With Brooke Shields.
“I was married to someone who found monogamy very challenging — which is difficult in a marriage,” King told host Brooke Shields. “I think if I didn’t have children, I would’ve never spoken to him again.”
“Oprah — who has never been married and never had children — she is one of the best therapists ever,” she continued. “If she had a second career, It would be [a therapist]. When I first caught [my ex] I didn’t tell anyone but Oprah and my mother. I knew I could trust them.”
King admitted that she had reservations about marrying Bumpus before their 1982 wedding. The pair share two adult children, daughter Kirby and son Will.
“I remember when I first got married — I can remember looking in the mirror and my mom was helping me get dressed for my wedding,” she recalled. “I remember saying, ‘Mom, How do I know that this is ’til death do us part’? How do I know for sure this is right?’ And she said, ‘Oh, you’re just having cold feet! Everybody feels that way!'”
King continued, “I would never tell my daughter that. I don’t think you’re supposed to have cold feet on the day you get married. I think you should at least in that moment feel, ‘I am ready, he or she is the person of my dreams.’ I don’t think girls should be told, ‘It’s cold feet, everybody has the jitters.'”
Back in 2016, when asked to name a living person she most despises during a Vanity Fair interview, King shared how she’d caught Bumpus in bed with another woman in 1990.
“‘Despise’ is a strong word,” replied King. “I’m not a huge fan of the woman I caught naked with my now ex-husband on June 24, 1990, at 9:16 P.M. — but I don’t remember the details.”
King went on to divorce Bumpus, a prosecutor in Connecticut, in 1993 after 11 years of marriage.
While King has said little about the split over the years, she reportedly discussed her ex with Will Smith when he appeared as a guest on her radio show in 2006.
“I was married to a cheater,” King reportedly told Smith. “I went to marital counseling. I have been divorced since 1993, so I’m all healed and everything. I have worked it out. I’m not bitter. I’m OK. I’m really OK.”
Following King’s comments, Bumpus issued a public apology for cheating on his wife.
“I have been haunted with this life-altering choice,” Bumpus told Page Six via a statement from rep Lisa Nkonoki in 2016. “Though I have dealt with this privately … I publicly apologize for the major transgression that dramatically changed all of our lives.”
Bumpus’s statement continued, “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Gayle and how she handled herself with grace. Despite the situation, she kept our children, as well as my relationship and involvement with them, as a clear priority.”
“Gayle was a great wife, an excellent mother and a fantastic co-parent,” he went on. “I am eternally grateful for all that she has done and continues to do to enrich my life and the lives of our incredible adult children. I continue to be a work in progress and have spent the last 26 years striving to be a better man and father. I applaud Gayle’s continued phenomenal success and friendship!”